The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost

Photo by D Karr
Photo by D Karr

Robert Frost? Really? It feels a little on the nose when I’m spending time with my family in New England, but the truth is, I grew up listening to his words, and to those of Emerson and Thoreau. I used to go swimming every summer in Walden Pond, and we’d walk to the replica of Thoreau’s little cabin some afternoons, and some part of me has always felt tied to that little room. It’s only slightly strange then that years later, I would go to Emerson College to get my degree – only slightly, because certain writers ( along with Alcott, and Wharton, and Dickinson) have always filled me with a sense of my own history. Even though I no longer live here, reading their familiar lines is a coming home all of its own.

The Road Not Taken

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I –
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

16 thoughts on “The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost

  1. Reblogged this on oceansandpeaks and commented:
    I studied this poem as a part of my High School Syllabus two years ago! To this date it remains as one of the most inspiring poems I have read!

  2. From a fellow Emersonian (both as a student of the college and a reader of the philosopher) – great post! And on the nose or no, there’s no time Frost isn’t appropriate. :)

    1. Thanks! It’s surprisingly rare to run into another Emersonian (when I lived in LA, it happened all the time, but not so much once I left). My favorite classes as an undergrad were actually seminars with grad professors (this was before the rules changed to keep the courses completely separate between those groups of students), and I wish now that I had gone elsewhere to get my BFA and gone to Emerson for my masters, since the program is exceptional!

  3. I love this one by Robert Frost,read it several years back in the school and been reading it all over again since then.Great post.

  4. Thx for a really nice post. Love almost all of Frost but my favorite poem of his — not one of the usually anthologized ones — is “The Woodpile.” Great poem about the all to human enterprise of trying to understand nature by attempting to domesticate it (i.e., by talking about it in human terms. (
    Kills me every time I read it.

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